National

Fire in under-construction Tokyo high-rise injures four workers

Kyodo

A fire broke out in a high-rise building under construction near a bustling Tokyo railway station on Friday, leaving four male workers injured, but all remained conscious, firefighters and police said.

A plume of black smoke was visible after 2 p.m. rising from the upper part of the building, which has 27 floors and two basement floors. The building is located in one of the capital’s major business districts about 300 meters northwest of JR Shinbashi Station.

The fire was extinguished about two hours later after roughly 100 square meters of the rooftop portion of the building were burned, they said, adding that some 360 construction workers were in the building, including 30 on the rooftop.

Local police said they believe sparks from a burner fell on polystyrene foam insulation on the rooftop and ignited the fire.

The building was expected to be completed in July and will house shops and a hotel, according to its construction plan.

A number of fire trucks surrounded the building as several helicopters circled overhead.

A 58-year-old man who was cleaning on the 15th floor said, “I thought I had to escape very quickly after seeing people were coming down one after another from upper floors.”